Deceased November 22, 2013

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50th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

Hank Testa passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 85 on Nov. 22, 2013, in Ocala, Fla. He was a wonderful family man with a loving wife, Grayce, and eight children, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He served in Korea as a Marine captain. Most of his career was in sales and sales management in the office products industry. Interestingly, his dad gave me my first job in sales out of Amherst, with Monroe Calculating Co. in Chicago.

Hank was a wonderful fraternity brother (Theta Delt) all these years. He and Grayce welcomed me with enthusiasm at their home in Ocala whenever I went to spring training baseball games in Florida. Over all these years, in New Jersey and Florida, he did an absolutely stunning job of keeping in touch with Amherst and fraternity friends. How he loved a good party! Even bringing up eight kids, he and Grayce missed very few Amherst class reunions, and what a joy to see them each time.

He lived life to the fullest. A good example of this was his vibrant interest in golf into his 80s and, I believe, shooting his age. And oh, how he loved to work around his yard and property. He will be sorely missed by many folks.

We all extend our sympathy to Grayce and his whole family.

Richard E. Thacher ’49

50th Reunion

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Graduation 1949 to September 1993: 44 years in three paragraphs:

July '49: Started entry-level position [Hartford- Manhattan- Chicago]. Memorable launch into life. Korean conflict- avoided draft by enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. In those days you did it, you didn't dodge it. Boot camp November '50. Korea most of 1951. Back home, met pretty Grayce, the Stationers Daughter in early '52, married over Memorial Day and served out tour in Quantico as an officer-instructor. Great way to begin our long life together. In 1954, back to civilian life - started a long career in the Stationery and Office Products industry, and a good industry it was. All this time we created and raised eight [8] kids.

We've experienced many highs and lows including relocations to five cities. Some adventures: A company that had to fold, a merger within a company- [they should have left it alone], and a hostile takeover, a bummer since the president who induced me into a contract himself was booted.

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When bought out, or ushered out I always, without exception, landed on my feet. Of this I am very proud, since my key, core philosophy is to never, regardless of circumstance or temptation, bum a bridge. Amherst contributed greatly, especially where choices had to be made requiring an open and inquisitive mind. Even during periods of agonizing [particularly where the kids were involved], we managed to keep priorities in balance, seeing both sides of issues.


Career in summary: Company's antics were often amusing and knee-jerky in retrospect, and were means to ends. Family always came first, and that probably cost me fortune and fame. As Evita declared, [viz: As for Fortune, and as for Fame], "I never invited them in, they're all illusions". Who knows if she was really sincere about this, or am I, really.

Age 66, retirement in 1993: We're exceptionally happy in our retirement. Live in a neat town, Ocala.

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We're blessed beyond, and through it all have kept our senses of humor and lots of old friendships, some with old Amherst friends In our 46 years together we've tried not to lose sight of our faith and loyalties.

Finally, the Amherst Experience is most valuable now. I, for one, have to fight negativism and old-poopdom. So many our age seem down on life in general and on the fast track to the way station. And, I think if we can maintain a respect for others, and can stick to old values, and continue using reason to solve problems, we can be even happier as we enter our seventies. To me, this is the very essence of a life's education.

H.J Testa, Jr